From First Things, Ron Rosenbaum on Rescuing Evil: Pondering the consciences of Hitler, Hamlet, and England’s Psycho-Cabbie Killer. Judgment Day: How Arnold Schwarzenegger might just have saved California. Beauty lies at the heart of cultural, architectural and environmental progress, argues Ben Rogers, so why are policymakers still so wary of it? Girls, tattoos and men who hate women: The real problem with sensationalising misogyny is that misogyny is not sensational. Inventing Facebook: In Internet wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg, TV wunderkind Aaron Sorkin may have found his perfect subject — the wunderkind genius jerk (and more). The Pen That Never Forgets: Could a pen that records sound while you write be the key to taking good notes? Vision of Humanity is out with their 2010 Global Peace Index, a rating of the "state of peace" in 249 nations around the world. In The Secret and The Power, the bogus “law of attraction” meets the real science of the human brain. A review of The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma by Gurcharan Das. A review of The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope by Roger Scruton (and more and more). On the use and abuse of pessimism for life: The neuroscientist Raymond Tallis and the philosopher Roger Scruton discuss the human condition. Why does  seem to migrate into unrelated subjects? George Monbiot wants to know.


From Verbum et Ecclesia, Andries van Aarde (Pretoria): Theological Trends in Our Postsecular Age; Stephanus J. Myburgh (MCSA): Prejudice as Moral Action in Christian Ethical Decision-making; and Erna Oliver (South Africa): Afrikaner Christianity and the Concept of Empire. From Tehelka, did anyone get the memo about Sufism? A soft, cuddly, palatable-for-the-West version of Islam? When did that happen? From Political Affairs, Frank J. Ranelli on the immorality of Christianity. Mystery and evidence: Is it realistic to expect religion to satisfy the demands of science? Not a lot of people know this, but Benedict XVI is not the real Pope; the true Pope lives in a town of 130 people in rural Kansas — he is Pope Michael I, and he is unhappy that Benedict gets all the golf-buggies when he can’t even get everyone to call him by his proper pope-name. An interview with political scientist Hamed Abdel-Samad on why he thinks Islam is a danger to society and his theories about the inevitable decline of the Muslim world. The Deity and the Decalogue: Can the Ten Commandments be understood apart from religion? A review of Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity by Diana Agorio. An article on the crescent, Islam’s accidental symbol. Against the “Answer Bank” Theory of Religion: The world’s religions are more important for the questions they ask than for the answers they provide. Robert Wright on the meaning of the Koran. There will be blood: Butchery is always a messy business, but is religiously inspired ritual slaughter really worse than other methods?


You’ve heard of grindhouse, blaxploitation and kung fu flicks, but Canada has its own unique B-movie tradition — Canuxploitation — and new directors are catching on. Is the U.S. Tea Party movement seeping into Tim Horton’s territory, Canada? (and more and more on politics and populism) Author unloads on those who "ruined" it for everyone else: Two of Canada's sacred cows are being turned into hamburger, thanks to a forthcoming book that calls out 101 people, places and things said to have "screwed things up for the rest of us." The Brazilians have lately been looking north for opportunities — for our own good, we ought to return the favour. The Toronto International Film Festival’s vaulting ambition to create a world-class centre for film. Getting Past “Yes” or “No”: Our debate over multiculturalism needs more nuance. For years, Joel Theriault has waged a losing battle against pesticide spraying in Northern Ontario forests — what keeps him going? A review of Transnational Canadas: Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization by Kit Dobson. Sex tourism destroys the lives of millions of children every year, but activists are getting better at stopping Canadian predators in their tracks. With a different personality online, Toronto Life may be risking some credibility, but it’s paying off in hits. Critics of Al Jazeera English call the broadcaster garish and offensive — supporters say it's just what Canada needs. A review of Hooked on Canadian Books: The Good, the Better and the Best Canadian Novels since 1984 by T.F. Rigelhof. The Incredible True Story of Mr. Markarian: One man’s battle against CIBC exposes the billion-dollar scams behind our country’s “stable” financial sector.

From Bookforum's Paper Trail blog, an interview with Jessica Duffin Wolfe, editor of the forthcoming Toronto Review of Books.


From the Mises Institute, Kel Kelly on patriotism as a threat to capitalism; and Toban Wiebe on evolutionary psychology and the antimarket bias. A look at the animal kingdom's top 10 strange hunting strategies. A year-old, anti-Muslim email has resurfaced and is curculating once again, riding the latest wave of U.S. anti-Muslim bigotry. Fertility Rites: Chimp sperm may unlock one of the riddles of human conception — but first you have to collect it. A review of Dancing with Iris: The Philosophy of Iris Marion Young. A new study of factors that contribute to a film’s popularity suggests the sex appeal of stars outweighs identification with the lead character. A review of The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective. An interview with Carmen Callil on books on the other France. A look at 6 things you won't believe are more legal than marijuana. Human enhancement: John Harris on an idea which is rapidly coming to life. Muslim Grrrls: After successfully employing Islamic law in the U.S. court system, Rafia Zakaria realizes that Sharia and feminism aren’t always mutually exclusive. Hampton Stevens on an intellectual's defense of football. Associated with a bygone age of child labour and smoke-filled skies, chimney sweeps are reporting a mini-revival. Boxing lessons: The unmindful attitude towards the body so prevalent in the West blinkers us to profound truths that the skin, muscles and breath can deliver like a punch.


Four hundred years ago, Galileo turned his telescope toward Saturn for the first time, but instead of rings, he saw something quite different. An interview with Ann Finkbeiner, author of A Grand and Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering In A New Era of Discovery (and more). Cosmology enters a golden age: Physicists and astronomers are on the verge of cracking some of science's most enduring questions. Andy Lloyd's startling hypothesis, if proved true, could turn Planet X from a conspiracy-tinged myth into a scientific reality. What's the "anti-universe" and can scientists find it? From Scientific American, who should get credit for the Higgs particle? A storm is brewing round the scientists in line to win the Nobel prize for predicting the elusive particle. The rage of reason: World-changing theories and big breakthroughs are what every scientist yearns for — but the pressure to get results and glory means that feuds come thick and fast. Is science becoming authoritarian? Some very telling results of a Lexis/Nexus search. Wishful thinking does not make the Earth flat, nor will climate change just go away — and the people who think it might are risking the legitimacy of scientific endeavour. From Intelligent Life, plenty of today’s scientific theories will one day be discredited — so should we be sceptical of science itself? How many realise that the scientific age is but a brief, transitory phase in the evolution and development of humankind? One day it will all come to an end.


From Mother Jones, what happens when profit margins drive clinical research? Two-thirds of clinical trials are now privately run — a primer on the contract research organizations (CROs) that run them. A review of The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination. Did somebody say "fringe"? With the help of his dad and a legion of devoted Tea Partiers, chances are good Ron Paul will soon be the most radical member of the U.S. Senate. School for Hackers: The do-it-yourself movement revives learning by doing. The C.L.R. James Library in London is being renamed; Scott McLemee wants to halt the vandalism. Financial regulation goes international: Basel III is a tough new international regime; it is a rare sign of optimism in the battle with the banks. From Inside Catholic, this is where Steve Skojec begins to wax theological about coffee; and what is it about us that makes us willing to stand in line for an eternity at a coffee shop just to get a cup? Here are two stories about Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward (and more). The Bravery Trap: What does the Medal of Honor tell us about the nature of bravery? Waaaaah Street: Max Abelson on executives, emotion, and outbursts of Obama rage. The Guardian's Jonathan Franklin documents a day in the subterranean life of the 33 miners trapped 700 metres below the Chilean desert. An eXiled eXclusive: An advance copy of Martin Amis's eulogy for (the nearly-departed) Christopher Hitchens.


From The Nation, one year later, the blockbuster Game Change can be read as much for how little election narratives explain about history as for the story of the 2008 campaign. From The Atlantic Monthly, Joe Biden really, truly did not want to be vice president, but almost two years in, he’s found his stride, and his unique life trajectory — by turns tragic, comic, and triumphant — may have made him the perfect man for a highly imperfect job. From FDL, a book salon on The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power by Paul Street. Obama’s Chief Issue: If Rahm Emanuel departs and the Dems lose the House, who should run the White House? James Surowiecki on the political failure of Obama’s stimulus package. Obama's big problem is with liberals and the left wing. Progressivism is not as amorphous as the current state of affairs indicates — this is no time to despair or retreat; it is a time to reengage and reassert progressive positions in more compelling ways. America is a joke: The worst of times for politics and media has been the best of times for The Daily Show’s John Stewart — and unfortunately things are getting even funnier. As much as Jon Stewart can make you laugh, there is something about all this Middle as Magically Absent of Ideology claim that just isn’t very funny. Laurie Essig thinks the Middle is just as ideological a stance as the Tea Party movement. The Forever Culture War: Even as we make progress on specific issues, the broader culture war seems to get uglier and uglier. We are no longer Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives — now we are utopians or not.


Kaz Ross (Tasmania): An "Army of Bachelors"? China’s Male Population as a World Threat. From New Left Review, an assessment of Wang Hui’s landmark Rise of Modern Chinese Thought: Can the seeds of an alternative, non-Western modernity be located in the worldviews of earlier thinkers? From Beijing Review, can "mixed living" connect the rich and the poor? A Breakfast Solution: How to lift millions of China's rural poor out of destitution? What kids eat is crucial, and Beijing is taking action. Chicago on the Yangtze: Welcome to Chongqing, the biggest city you've never heard of (and more). China's state capitalism poses ethical challenges: When state-owned companies go abroad, they can do business with a high level of secrecy. China's Potemkin Cities: Vacant skyscrapers, empty malls — the surreal fruits of a nation's obsession with growth. China's looming 2019 deadline: Is there a 70-year deadline for political parties? One set of shoulders: Mark Lilla on China's hidden revolution. Waiting for WikiLeaks: Perry Link on Beijing’s seven secrets. Rivalry grows between China's top leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, as both are nearing retirement and go different ways on reform. The People's Republic is becoming a technological superpower, but who's checking the facts? Sam Geall seeks out the Chinese science cops. A review of Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness by Cathryn H. Clayton. Two hundred members of a Chinese family are reportedly changing their surname because the character used to write it is so rare computers do not recognise it.


From Bookforum's Paper Trail blog, an interview with Jessica Duffin Wolfe, editor of the forthcoming Toronto Review of Books.

From M/C Journal, a special issue on waste, including Cornelia Sears and Jessica Johnston (Canterbury): Wasted Whiteness: The Racial Politics of the Stoner Film; Rodney Taveira (Sydney): Don DeLillo, 9/11 and the Remains of Fresh Kills; and Donna Lee Brien (CQU): From Waste to Superbrand: The Uneasy Relationship between Vegemite and Its Origins. Why cell phone talkers are annoys-makers: Unpredictable “halfalogues” distract those trying to do other things. The foods you eat often affect how your neurons behave and, subsequently, how you think and feel — from your brain’s perspective, food is a drug. The Numbers Guy on how report cards for consumers don't always make the grade (and more). Why business books suck: The problem with business books is that they're too much about Star Wars and not enough about Glee. A review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey. The Athenian Agora, the ancient Greek "place of assembly" and marketplace, is being revealed layer by layer below the modern Athens cityscape. Small Wars Journal compares nation building in Korea and Iraq. George Monbiot on how Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie has forced him to reconsider his views on food. A review of Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture. On the scope-severity paradox: Why millions of deaths can be “just” a statistic. Did the Great Pyramid have an elevator?, asks Peter C. Sundt in the latest issue of the journal Elevator World. Prep is dead, long live prep: How a subculture gained the world and lost its soul.


From Minding the Campus, a review essay on our colleges and their many critics. From Forward, at what cost has Jewish learning entered the academy? The truth about your T.A.: Teachers’ assistants are just like you — overworked, overwhelmed and a full-time student, just a little older, and maybe more stressed. Incentives work for pigeons — can they motivate American college students? How to improve the academic atmosphere of contemporary high schools and colleges. The Tenured Radical on Cultural Studies; or, the perils of mislabeling campus problems. Wikipedia for Credit: While many professors still distrust the popular encyclopedia, some have joined a new effort in which they will work with students to improve entries. Rereading the university classics: A new series on classic texts about higher education begins with Jose Ortega y Gasset's Mission of the University. A review of It's All About Jesus!: Faith as an Oppositional Collegiate Subculture by Peter Magolda and Kelsey Ebben Gross. The sincerest form of flattery: We can expect colleges in many countries to copy and improve on the American model in the 21st century, just as we adapted the German model long ago. Here is the Top 200 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-2011. A review of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities by Mark C. Taylor. Why are colleges so selective? There's "Room for Debate" at the New York Times. Is your campus library valuable? Prove it. A look at the 6 best college majors (for filling you with regret).

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